A True Masterpiece | Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen

Friday, January 26, 2018

Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 1/30/18
Pages: 448
Source: received by publisher in exchange for honest review

Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarlet will hold readers spellbound.

Shalia is a daughter of the desert. When the King of the Bone Lands proposes peace with her people, she is willing to give up her freedom in order to become his Queen. In the Bone Lands, magic is outlawed. But, sometime after accepting the King's hand, Shalia discovers she can control Earth. With this newfound power, she must learn to control it, before someone else notices the power within her.

Complex Characters

  • The protagonist, Shalia is daring, relatable, and extremely caring. I found her adjustment to life as queen unique. Unlike many other peasant-turned-royal characters, Shalia seemed to hold onto her kind and loving nature while also performing queenly duties where she exhumed pride and confidence. Each scene seemed a surprise as readers waited to see how Shalia would react. And her sass, her small jabs and remarks were absolutely gold. 
  • The slow burn romance, in Reign the Earth, gives readers all the feels. Gaughen builds all her relationships gorgeously. 
  • Danae's character felt too rushed to be appreciated. From the beginning, readers immediately warm up to her as she is a face of kindness in this strange land. However, when Shalia begins uncovering secrets, Danae rushes into telling them without question. I wish there had been a bit more anticipation. 
  • Calix, the King of the Bone Lands, wins villain of the year. He is absolutely the worst, in the best way possible. 
  • This book is more than just your standard fantasy novel, it's a wonderfully structured story that pulls at your heart with amazing complex relationships, a burning romance and an inspiring and empowering female lead.

Captivating Descriptions

  • Despite my undying love for fantasy, I must admit that most books of the genre suffer from dumping too much information at once on the reader which usually creates a slow pace. Reign the Earth suffers from no such element. Gaughen builds her world gently, giving information as needed. 
  • The writing is very well-paced. I've never before read a book by Gaughen but Reign the Earth will certainly not be my last. Her style is fantastic with tremendous amounts of visual details to keep readers enthralled.

Impatiently Waiting for the Sequel

  • The ending was as action packed as ever, the twists just kept coming like punches in a boxing match. I'm still feeling the hurt (but it's a good hurt, you know). 
  • This is book one of The Elementae series. After the masterpiece that is Reign the Earth, I am looking forward to where Gaughen leads the story next. I only wished the sequel was released already; I need to know what happens!


Reign the Earth by A.C Gaughen is a fantastic fantasy that keeps readers on the edge of their seat. Filled with in-depth characters, heart-pounding action, and superb world building, Reign the Earth is the book you need to read next.

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